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Tile Installation Tips | Tiling Mistakes | Madison WI | Molony Tile

When in doubt, seek professional tile installation tips from a well-trained, well-equipped professional to avoid tiling mistakes.

Simple tile installation tips make adding a tile floor to your remodeling project smoother. Resources make it sound like installing tile is an easy DIY project. With the right tools, experience and skills it can be. Keep in mind there’s a list of tiling mistakes that can undermine your Madison WI project.

Without the benefit of training and experience, many homeowners don’t understand the potential problems that lay ahead if tile and grout are not installed properly the first time. A professionally installed tile project increases the value of the home.

TILE INSTALLATION TIPS FROM A PRO — Reading a DIY book, watching videos or taking a Saturday morning class isn’t the same as years of experience and professional training. Tile installation professionals come prepared with all the right tools and materials to do the job efficiently –saving time, money and stress. (Who do you think teaches the home center staff before they attempt to teach you?)

Tile Installation Tips For Starters

As your work on a plan for a tile installation, consider this professional advice:

  • Tile selection is critical – pick the “must have” tile first. Select the main focus and then consider accent tiles. Plan around your No. 1 choice.
  • Don’t get carried away – keep your selection to 2-3 different tiles and try to have them all made from the same or very similar materials.
  • Begin at the bottom – floor tiles are usually the first choices followed by wall tile around tub and shower with accents the final selection.
  • Consider maintenance – some tiles require more cleaning than others and some need to be sealed periodically.
  • Size matters – one of the hottest trends is larger tiles, especially for floors. Working with large tiles requires specialized tools and extra care.

Correct Pre-installation Prep Avoids Tiling Mistakes

The most common mistake people make well before they begin a tile project has nothing to do with the tile they want to use. It’s assuming the room’s walls are square and the floor is flat. Builders do their best, but walls are seldom truly square and floors often slant. One of the most basic tile installation tips is determine the layout of the room before you start – it’s easier adjust your work on paper ahead of time than change a wall. You also have to determine how many square feet of tile you have to order.

TILE INSTALLATION TIPS FROM A PRO — A long carpenter’s level – 4-feet is a good size – is a great tool to check floors and walls. It is easy to read a level on the floor and determine how flat it really is. Slide the level along the wall and it will reveal waves and uneven areas, too.

If a floor isn’t level, it doesn’t impact the look of the room, but floors that aren’t level can lead to cracked tile after years of traffic. A wavy wall means tiles won’t lay flat and the wavy surface will be emphasized with the new texture.

Be Aware of Common Tiling Mistakes

There may be little you can do if your floor isn’t level or walls aren’t square but there are tiling mistakes you can watch out for Including:

  • Poorly Prepared Surfaces – Every surface to receive tile must be clean and as smooth as possible. Remove any coatings or residue – especially when tiling over existing floors to insure a tight bond.
  • Poor Grouting – grout must be spread evenly and slowly using the proper tools. Grout applied too soon dries out at different rates across the work area and the result is an uneven finished job. Always remove excess grout right away, if it hardens it is more difficult to get up.
  • Adhesive Problems – adhesives shrink as they dry and an uneven application can lead to cracking from uneven pressure on the tile.
  • Adhesives Are Not All The Same – choosing the correct adhesive makes a big difference. In rooms where humidity is high, like bathrooms, around pools or in laundry rooms, waterproof adhesives are required. Even well-fitted tiles can, over time, allow water to seep to the adhesive level where it leads to crumbling and breaking.
  • Waiting Too Long To Redo – It’s rare for a DIY tiling job to go down without at least a few difficulties so it’s important to review the work regularly. The sooner you see imperfections the easier it is to correct them. Once the grout has hardened isn’t the time to change out a tile.
  • Not Having Enough Material – this is one of the most common and easily corrected tiling mistakes. A rule of thumb in the industry is to get at least 10% more of everything than you estimate you’ll need – tiles break, cutting isn’t always smooth, grout spills, etc. It also allows for an extra supply to make minor repairs if needed later on – and you’ll know the tile will match.


TILE INSTALLATION TIPS FROM A PRO — If you’re working with the new, longer tiles – wood-look tiles are available in lengths to resemble actual planks – you should plan on even more extras than the accepted 10%. These longer tiles, because weight is distributed differently, break much more easily than their smaller counterparts.

Get Tile Installation Tips From The Pros

For timely tile installation tips, contact Molony Tile, a source for unique, durable and elegant tile solutions in Madison WI and greater Dane county including Middleton, Waunakee, Verona, Fitchburg, McFarland, Oregon, Stoughton, Cottage Grove and Sun Prairie.

Call or email Molony Tile, 608-268-8453 for professional advice to avoid tiling mistakes and reliable tile installation tips in Madison WI.

World Floor Covering Institute